Tags: Phil Ochs, Veterans Day
Tags: David Margolis, eric holder, Jay Bybee, John Yoo, justice department, torture memos
Despite the headlines you’ll see, the report from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) did not in any way clear Yoo or Bybee. It recommended referral to state bar disciplinary authorities by whom Yoo and Bybee are now licensed.
The OPR report concluded that “two key authors—Jay Bybee, now a federal appellate court judge, and John Yoo, now a law professor—violated their professional obligations as lawyers when they crafted a crucial 2002 memo approving the use of harsh tactics.”
Who is this man who is protecting John Yoo and Jay Bybee by blocking the Justice Department from making referrals that could result in their disbarment and loss of their current employment?
I used the Google and here is what I found:
It appears that Margolis has been used on a number of occasions to clean up a mess for the Justice Department. In March 2007 Margolis defended the firing of one of the nine US Attorneys at about the same time that Monica Goodling hit the front page. Some apparently took it for granted that because he was not a Bush hire, he was “clearly a ‘Clean’ player.” I would have to agree with those less inclined to view him so favorably.
His participation in the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman seemed a bit stinky:
After ethics complaints were brought to the Justice Department, Leura Canary was nominally removed from the case. But in a circumvention of normal Justice Department rules approved by Associate Deputy Attorney General David Margolis, she was allowed to pick one of her deputies to manage the case against Siegelman in her stead. Canary represented to Congress that she removed herself from the case “before any significant decisions” had been reached. Now internal communications have been disclosed within Canary’s own office calling into question these claims.
As to Margolis, it seems to me that he had an assigned role here — to provide a veneer of respectability to an expediency. We are left with the question: why is the Obama administration once again protecting members of the Bush crime family?
UPDATE: Isn’t it lovely that the Obama administration had someone with credibility already in the DOJ to whitewash the final results.
“OPR’s own analytical framework defines ‘professional misconduct’ such that a finding of misconduct depends on application of a known, unambiguous obligation or standard to the attorney’s conduct,” [Margolis] wrote. “I am unpersuaded that OPR has identified such a standard.”
The investigation was apparently political theater, perhaps to mollify those calling for investigations that will not happen during this administration of crimes committed by the Bush administration. They should have saved themselves the trouble.
UPDATE: “Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has forwarded materials on the writing of the torture memos to state bars where John Yoo and Jay Bybee are licensed, calling on the bar association to consider possible disciplinary action, Nadler’s office announced today.“
Tags: Chilcot hearings, Ctesiphon, george w. bush, history, iraq, Iraq Inquiry, Mesopotamia, Tony Blair, war crimes
Wufnik at Scholars and Rogues has been doing regular posts on the goings on at the Chilcot hearings on the Iraq war that are well worth a read.
The first post in which Wufnik talks about the inquiry is Christmas music (9)–Best English folk/indie/whatever Christmas album, then Stout Denial, More Chilcot, Blogging Blair and Blogging Blair (2).
The British Government has a website for the Iraq Inquiry that has video, transcripts and background documents.
Tags: torture, waterboarding
Who was authorizing waterboarding in 2002, before the Justice Department memos were written?
(NPR) One source with knowledge of Zubaydah’s interrogations agreed to describe the legal guidance process, on the condition of anonymity.
The source says nearly every day, Mitchell would sit at his computer and write a top-secret cable to the CIA’s counterterrorism center. Each day, Mitchell would request permission to use enhanced interrogation techniques on Zubaydah. The source says the CIA would then forward the request to the White House, where White House counsel Alberto Gonzales would sign off on the technique. That would provide the administration’s legal blessing for Mitchell to increase the pressure on Zubaydah in the next interrogation.
Tags: Bush, Pelosi, torture
Why has the last week of “news” been taken up with the burning question of what Nancy Pelosi knew about the Bush torture program?
Isn’t the real question, what did George W. Bush know about his torture program?
Tags: lawlessness, paul krugman, torture, war crimes
As things currently stand, there will be no investigation or prosecution of crimes committed by the United States Government over the past eight years. That there are any Americans who do not consider this outrageous is hard for me to understand.
One addendum to today’s column: the truth, which I think everyone in the political/media establishments knows in their hearts, is that the nine months or so between the summer of 2002 and the beginning of the Iraq insurgency were a great national moral test — a test that most people in influential positions failed.
The Bush administration was obviously — yes, obviously — telling tall tales in order to promote the war it wanted: the constant insinuations of an Iraq-9/11 link, the hyping of discredited claims about a nuclear program, etc.. And the question was, should you stand up against that? Not many did — and those who did were treated as if they were crazy.
For me and many others that was a radicalizing experience; I’ll never trust “sensible” opinion again. But for those who stayed “sensible” through the test, it’s a moment they’d like to see forgotten. That, I believe, is the real reason so many want to let torture and everything else go down the memory hole.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
If America does not investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by its own government, the terrorists will have indeed won and there will be nothing left of a once great dream that we are a people of laws and high moral ideals.
Tags: Bush, cheney, Lawrence O'Donnell, Liz Cheney, torture
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Tags: american war crimes, bush administration, torture, war crimes
If you’re not willing or able to read the Bush torture memos, at least listen to this song. YOUR GOVERNMENT engaged in this behavior. Your tax money paid the salaries of torturers, those who ordered the torture and those who “legalized” the torture, one of whom is currently a sitting Federal Judge.
If the Obama administration fails to investigate and prosecute these crimes, every member of the administration, including President Obama, will be as culpable as if they had participated directly and America will remain under a moral cloud.
Tags: defense budget, Economy, M-4 tank, military spending, Sherman tank, torture, war crimes
(DemocracyNow) A new study, meanwhile, from the National Priorities Project says that more than thirty-seven cents of every income tax dollar goes to military spending. By contrast, environment, energy and science spending projects split 2.8 cents of every tax dollar, while housing, community and food programs split 3.8 cents.
(WaPo) The Obama administration opposes any effort to prosecute those in the Justice Department who drafted legal memos authorizing harsh interrogations at secret CIA prisons, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said yesterday.
Tags: Bush Administration crimes, cheney, Gonzales, John Yoo, Spain, war crimes
Scott Horton at The Daily Beast:
Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid.
The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”
The Bush Six labored at length to create a legal black hole in which they could implement their policies safe from the scrutiny of American courts and the American media. Perhaps they achieved much of their objective, but the law of unintended consequences has kicked in. If U.S. courts and prosecutors will not address the matter because of a lack of jurisdiction, foreign courts appear only too happy to step in.
I am having a hard time believing that anyone will prosecute the bastards, but the Spaniards give me hope.
It’s more than sad that an American should feel more hopeful at the effectiveness of a foreign legal system than their own.
UPDATE (4/16/09): It looks like my small hope has been dashed, at least for now.